by Tim Regan February 2, 2016 at 2:30 pm 0

Commedia Dell MediaA group of journalists who live and work in D.C. will try to hack it as comedians during this year’s Commedia dell Media show at DC Improv (1140 Connecticut Ave. NW).

The event, which returns from a two-year hiatus on Feb. 25, will pit 10 media members against one another in a standup comedy showdown.

Here’s the full lineup from the Commedia dell Media webpage:

Hosted by full-time Washington Post reporter and part-time professional comedian Elahe Izadi, the charitable competition will showcase the comedic stylings of Bethonie Butler (Washington Post), Sadie Dingfelder (Washington Post), Harry Jaffe (Washingtonian), Dylan Matthews (Vox), Zachary Pincus-Roth (Washington Post), Will Rahn (Daily Beast), Alex Rogers (National Journal), Jessica Sidman (Washington City Paper), Tim Starks (Politico), and Jenn Tisdale (Brightest Young Things).

Will the Post rely on strength in numbers? Can Washington City Paper‘s Jessica Sidman use her newly minted celebrity status to gain the crowd’s favor? Does Washingtonian’s Harry Jaffe just totally have this in the bag? It’s clearly a toss-up.

The show will also feature performances by Commedia dell Media’s 2013 winner Natalie McGill and former competitor Alexandra Petri, who will appear for the first time in public as her viral Internet alter ego, Emo Kylo Ren.

All proceeds from the event “will help support the Journopalooza Fund’s goal to protect and assist journalists operating in Syria and other conflict areas.” Tickets are $20 in advance and can be purchased here.

Photo courtesy of Commedia del Media

by Jared Holt June 15, 2015 at 4:30 pm 0

You're the Expert

A public radio show from Boston will make its District debut at DC Improv on Wednesday.

Chris Duffy, creator and host of “You’re the Expert,” will join comedians Seaton Smith, Maeve Higgins and another currently unannounced comedian on stage when the show begins at D.C. Improv at 8 p.m.

The idea behind the show is simple: Duffy invites a scientist on air and subjects him or her to a panel of comedians that use a series of games and misguided assumptions to speculate what kind of research they do. After they guess correctly, the group discusses the topic and asks questions.

Wednesday’s guest will be Dr. Robert Provine, a neuroscientist who studies the brain mechanics behind laughter, yawning, farting and hiccuping.

Though “You’re the Expert” has been a podcast for three years, the show began airing on Boston NPR affiliate 90.9 WBUR earlier this year.

Duffy taught fifth-grade at an inner-city Boston school when his comedy career first took off, which he said inspired his idea to use comedy to deliver education. Initially pulling from his peer group of science researchers, the show turned into a platform for scientists to share their findings.

“If you go to ‘You’re the Expert’ and you just laugh, then we failed,” he said. “We want people to leave having learned something.”

Tickets are $20 and there’s a required minimum two-item bar purchase.

Image Courtesy of Chris Duffy

by February 28, 2012 at 11:00 am 2,219 0

"Borderstan" "Charlie Visconage"

The Charlie Visconage Show runs weekly through March 22 at the DC Arts Center, 2438 18th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Kate Hays. Follow her on Twitter @kateyhays and email her at kate[AT]

DC’s newest talk show host has variety in his blood. Charlie Visconage was introduced to improv comedy by a high school teacher, has dabbled in competitive ballroom dancing, is an amateur photographer and has an affection for comic books (Batman and Watchman, mostly).

Last October, he found himself unhappy at work (sales – hated it) and quit to clear his mind and get creative. He listened to some Chris Gethard and read The War For Late Night. Soon, an idea began to brew. After a push from mentor Topher Bellavia and a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign, The Charlie Visconage Show was born – for a 10-week first run.

Every week, between now and March 22, 2012, the show will highlight area artists, musicians and all-around interesting people. Upcoming guests include Amy Saidman and James Alefantis (of Comet Ping Pong fame).  On March 15, the show will host an evening dedicated to sex and romance, with a burlesque dancer and a real-life “Hitch.”

When he’s not hamming it up, Charlie does have a day job, is big into old cars and patronizes local Borderstan haunts like The Standard, Church Key and Peregrine. No matter where he is, Charlie is always plotting his next move.

“The worst thing is a person who talks about things… and never does them.”

Something tells me Charlie is in the clear.

Go check out DC’s latest Conan and learn more about our local noteworthy talent on display each week.

The Charlie Visconage Show runs January 19, 2012 through March 22, 2012; shows are Thursday night at 10pm at the DC Arts Center.

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by January 10, 2012 at 11:00 am 1,660 2 Comments

"Borderstan""Skate PArk"

Try skateboarding at the Shaw Skate Park, 11th and Rhode Island NW. (Luis Gomez Photos).

From Maggie Barron. You can reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter @maggiebarron.

I haven’t picked a New Year’s resolution yet. Not because I’m so perfect, obviously, but because I haven’t found one that’s the right combination of virtuous and achievable, yet is also fun. For people in the same boat, I decided to come up with a list of five resolutions that are good for you and good for your neighborhood:

1. Go to a neighborhood meeting.

 My first neighborhood meeting was an eye-opener — it made me realize how little I knew the goings-on in my small section of DC. If it’s been a while since you’ve been to one, check out the associations for U Street, LeDroit Park, Logan and Dupont. Don’t forget your Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC – find yours here) and your local Police Service Area (PSA – find yours here). No need to go nuts, but resolve to check out at least one or two this year, and impress your friends with all your insider knowledge. Also, check out these two Borderstan articles on ANCs: What Exactly Do ANCs Do? and ANCs Part 2: What Do Commissioners Do?

2. Try a new restaurant.

It’s easy to get stuck in a restaurant “rut” when your local options include places like Cork, ChurchKey and Estadio. Why branch out? Because we’ve got a ton of new restaurants coming. Two of those restaurants, Boqueria and Herringbone, made Washingtonian’s list of “10 to Look Forward To.” This should be an easy resolution to keep. Remember to keep an eye out for reviews from Borderstan’s team of food writers — get an RSS feed for our Food & Drink section.

3. Move your money.

Do you know what Citibank, Wells Fargo or Bank of America do with the money you deposit? Me neither. By moving your money to a local bank or credit union, you can ensure that your money goes towards investments in local development and small business loans. Banks such as City First Bank of DC may not offer all the online perks of the big players, but many still offer free checking and no ATM fees, along with a sense of doing more for your neighborhood.  Find out more information, and a list of local banks near you, at the Move Your Money project.

4. Use the other side of your brain.

If you, like me, have a typical DC job that’s more analytics than art, start an activity that gets your creative juices flowing. There are Capoeira dance classes on U Street, improv and stand-up classes at DC Improv and drawing and painting classes at the Washington Studio School. If you’re not into a class, channel your inner high-schooler at the skate park on 11th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW. It doesn’t matter what you choose as long as it’s different from your 9 to 5.

5. Remember to try other neighborhoods.

Last year, I went to New York City more times than I went to Georgetown. We are so lucky to live in a neighborhood that has everything we want, I sometimes forget the other places in DC that can make a short trek worthwhile. That’s why one of my resolutions this year is to leave home and see what’s new around H Street, Eastern Market, Waterfront, Woodley Park and maybe even Georgetown.

Got any other neighborhood resolutions that you’re trying to keep this year? Let us know in the comments.

by August 14, 2009 at 4:00 am 1,544 1 Comment

Here are some suggestions of things to do during the weekend in Borderstan, really close by or in the city.

Steam Cafe at 1701 17th Street NW. (Photo:Luis Gomez)

Steam Cafe at 1701 17th Street NW. (Photo: Luis Gomez.)

French Bistro at 1727 Connecticut Ave. (Photo:Luis Gomez)

French Bistro at 1727 Connecticut Avenue NW. (Photo: Luis Gomez.)

Steam Cafe at 1701 17th Street NW has become a morning stop for many locals… to get fresh croissants–plain, chocolate and pecan (think pecan pie on a croissant). Steam has an extensive menu with salads, crepes, pasta and paninis. Service is always friendly and it’s a good place to enjoy a cup of coffee outdoors. You can never go wrong with them.

French Bistro recently opened at 1727 Connecticut Avenue NW. In a city with so many restaurants it is hard to be a good “French Bistro” and it has received mix reviews, but it is worth a try. Good prices.

"Dirty Blonde" at the Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave. Arlington, VA (Image: Signature Theatre Web)

“Dirty Blonde” is at the Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Avenue in Arlington. (Image: Signature Theatre Web site.)

"Michael McDonald" at DC Improv located at 1140 Connecticut Ave NW.

Michael McDonald is at DC Improv at 1140 Connecticut Avenue NW. (Image: DC Improv Web site.)

Dirty Blonde” is playing at the Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Avenue in Arlington: “Half celeb-bio and half examination of America’s fascination with celebrity, ‘Dirty Blonde’ is a smart, tough and tenderhearted comedy” (The New York Times). “It reveals the individual behind Mae West’s sexy celluloid façade and examines why lost souls like Jo are so mesmerized by the provocative sex goddess.”

Michael McDonald from MAD TV is at the DC IMPROV at 1140 Connecticut Avenue NW.

"The Annual Exhibition of Works by Recent Art College Graduates" at Irvine Contemporary located at 1412 14th Street NW. (Image: Irvine Contemporary)

“The Annual Exhibition of Works by Recent Art College Graduates” is at Irvine Contemporary located at 1412 14th Street NW. (Image: Irvine Contemporary Web site.)

"Strange Bodies: Figurative Works from the Hirshhorn Collection" at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, at  Independence Ave & 7th St SW.

“Strange Bodies: Figurative Works from the Hirshhorn Collection,” at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue & 7th Street SW. (Image: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Web site.)

The Annual Exhibition of Works by Recent Art College Graduates” is at Irvine Contemporary in Borderstan, 1412 14th Street NW. It is a selection of works by eight artists: Jonathan Dankenbring, John Hill, Jr., Christopher LaVoie, Paris Mavroidis, Matt Sartain, Wayne Toepp, Yi-Hsin Tzeng and Stacey Lee Webber.

Strange Bodies: Figurative Works from the Hirshhorn Collection” is at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden at Independence Avenue & 7 Street SW.

"Pretenders" at the Warner Theatre, Friday, August 14th. (Image: Pretenders Official Website)

The Pretenders play at The Warner Theatre on Friday, August 14. (Image: The Pretenders Web site.)

"Arturo Sandoval" at the Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. (Image: Arturo Sandoval Official Website)

“Arturo Sandoval” is at Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Avenue NW. (Image: Arturo Sandoval Official Website.)

The Pretenders are playing at the Warner Theatre, August 14, 7:30 p.m., 1299 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Start the weekend enjoying their new album “Break Up The Concrete.”

Arturo Sandoval plays at Blues Alley at 1073 Wisconsin Avenue NW. He is a wonderful trumpeter… comfortable playing classic and jazz music and is true magic in live concerts. If you enjoy jazz, do not miss this concert.


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